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Fri Feb 1, 2019, 03:35 PM

Must Read - Stacy Abrams Destroys False Choice Between Social Justice and Working Class

Why is it that even in the era of Trump where he attacks Democrats for engaging in identity politics by speaking up for women and minorities even as he panders to white resentment do some “progressive” politicians repeat this theme and attack such efforts?

Stacy Abrams has written a brilliant essay explaining why this is a false choice.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/2/1/18206769/stacey-abrams-state-of-the-union-response-essay-identity-politics

Stacey Abrams, the rising Democratic star and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, is giving the Democratic response to plTrump’s State of the Union on Tuesday. On Friday morning, she published an essay with a spirited defense of one of the most controversial ideas in American public life: identity politics.

The piece, published by the journal Foreign Affairs, is a response to an essay by famed intellectual Francis Fukuyama. In a recent book, Fukuyama lambasted left-wing movements for dividing the country by focusing too much on appeals to race and gender; he called instead for Democrats to refocus on class to win back blue-collar Trump voters.

It’s a familiar argument, and one Abrams finds decidedly unpersuasive. She argues that identity politics is simply the assertion of historically marginalized groups’ interests and right to participate as equals in society, an inevitable and necessary feature of a society marked by social oppression. The piece marks Abrams as the rare politician willing to mount a full-throated defense of the idea of identity politics; the fact that she does so in a sharp and compelling way helps explain why the Democratic party sees her as a rising star.

The core of Abrams’s argument is that identity politics is not something that members of marginalized groups can ignore. If they want equality, they must address the issues and social structures that oppress them.


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Reply Must Read - Stacy Abrams Destroys False Choice Between Social Justice and Working Class (Original post)
TomCADem Feb 2019 OP
dlk Feb 2019 #1
TomCADem Feb 2019 #4
malaise Feb 2019 #2
Hermit-The-Prog Feb 2019 #3
Cha Feb 2019 #5
TomCADem Feb 2019 #6
Cha Feb 2019 #9
Apollyonus Feb 2019 #7
oberliner Feb 2019 #8

Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 03:49 PM

1. Excellent Post! "The Marginalized Did Not Create Identity Politics..."

In her essay, Abrams brilliantly calls out the way dominant groups attempt to silence the marginalized in their attempts to be heard. She is someone to watch and I predict great things in her political future.

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Response to dlk (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 02:48 PM

4. Finding A Way In Trump's America Through MLK's 'Drum Major Instinct'

Even on the left, some folks like Bernie Sanders and now Sherrod Brown, continue to push this idea that progressives should ignore social justice, and just focus on economic class issues. In doing so, they end up validating Trump who actively uses white resentment to oppress white people and not just minorities with racism. Abrams comments are reminiscent of Dr. Martin Luther King's observations in the Drum Major Instinct speech:

https://www.essence.com/culture/dr-martin-luther-king-drum-major-instinct-trump/

In this case, Dr. Martin Luther King’s sermon, ‘The Drum Major Instinct’ speaks like a light in a dark tunnel. It took place at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, 1968. Dr. King began telling a story from the book of St. Mark about James and John and how they asked Jesus if they could sit next to him on the throne. They wanted to be where Jesus was. The other disciples got mad. What had they done to deserve this? Jesus, on the other hand, had a different response.

Dr. King went on to talk about the character trait that would prompt James and John to ask that question of Jesus in the first place. He calls it ‘The Drum Major Instinct,’ and says it’s that innate desire that we all have to lead the parade or be first. Philosophers say it’s the most dominant human impulse. When the instinct goes unharnessed we will put others down so we can be on top.

Dr. King tells a story of being locked up in a Birmingham jail, talking to police officers about race, when the subject of money came up. When the officers revealed how much they were earning Dr. King laughed: “You ought to be marching with us. You’re just as poor as Negroes. You have been put in the position of supporting your oppressors, because through prejudice and blindness, you fail to see that the same forces that oppress Negroes in American society oppress poor white people too. And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big, when you are so poor you can hardly send your children to school.”

Little has changed. Poor whites think it’s the black and brown population taking away jobs and security when it’s really the one percent. Dr. King also warns of what could happen if China, the U.S. and Russia had a standoff. We’d all go within seconds. Even less has changed. Dr. King goes back to Jesus, James and John.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 03:55 PM

2. I declared the end of Fukuyama

after his End of History. He is a total and complete opportunist.
It's nice that Stacey responded but I wouldn't waste five minutes on anything he said or wrote.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 04:02 PM

3. "expanded, identity-conscious politics"


“The current demographic and social evolution toward diversity in the United States has played out alongside a trend toward greater economic and social inequality. These parallel but distinct developments are inextricably bound together,” Abrams writes. “The entrance of the marginalized into the workplace, the commons, and the body politic — achieved through litigation and legislation — spawned reactionary limits on their legal standing and restrictions meant to block their complaints and prevent remedies. The natural antidote to this condition is not a retrenchment to amorphous, universal descriptors devoid of context or nuance. Instead, Americans must thoughtfully pursue an expanded, identity-conscious politics.”

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 03:12 PM

5. Stacy Abrams is absolutely right.. so

grateful she's written this!

As a result, Abrams argues, minority groups face two choices: either ignore their own oppression or engage in some form of so-called identity politics. Asking minorities to eschew identity politics is tantamount to asking them to ignore their own oppression. How can you include black Americans in modern politics if you don’t talk about police violence and voter suppression? How can you include women without talking about the gender pay gap, or LGBTQ Americans without addressing the lack of federal anti-discrimination laws?

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/2/1/18206769/stacey-abrams-state-of-the-union-response-essay-identity-politics

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Response to Cha (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 2, 2019, 11:58 PM

6. Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King Both Saw That You Can't Ignore Social Justice

They are two sides of the same coin. You can't just focus on economic issues, and ignore questions of racial, religious and gender based oppression. As noted above, MLK saw it, and so did LBJ:

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Response to TomCADem (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 12:16 AM

9. Visionary, Intelligence, and Compassion!



Exactly Right from LBJ and it hasn't changed in all these decades when he said it.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 12:05 AM

7. K&R nt

 

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2019, 12:06 AM

8. She is what the Democratic Party is all about

 

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